"What a beautiful dress", "You look so beautiful", "You are so cute", "look at your beautiful hair", "such a gorgeous little princess" and countless comments that focus merely on appearances rather then intellect. I am guilty. Very guilty of this. I have done it to my daughter, and to countless other little girls I have met.
|My Daughter Lujain|
My 5 year old daughter has requested I put make up on her when seeing me applying it to myself, and I have obliged with a little lipstick or a little blush without giving it a second thought. It didn't cross my mind that I was teaching my daughter that she needed makeup to be more beautiful- but seriously, when I put a little lipstick on her, and she looks in the mirror and now thinks that image is what beauty is- I have made a pretty big mistake. In all honesty, this parenting thing is really hard. What we do, what we say, is really very important. It can impact our children more then we can ever imagine. I know it will not be easy, but I need to show my daughter what real beauty is. It is not the mask we cover our true self with, but rather being happy and comfortable with who we are. Being able to converse, and discuss a topic. Complimenting her on her achievements instead of her looks. It won't be easy, because to be perfectly honest, its is so deep-seeded in me, that I will probably still pay her physical compliments- because I do want her to know that she is amazing just as she is. I must also remember to fully engage with her in a real discussion, showing her how beautiful her brain is in addition to anything else. To let her understand that what she has to say or add to a conversation is important. I really hope that I can do this right. As I said before, and will say countless times, this parenting thing is hard, and very tricky. But is truly the most important job in the world.
I will leave you with the excerpt of an article I read yesterday that really spoke to me,
"Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments."
The link to the entire article is here How to talk to little girls